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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is eProcurement?

How do I get to the login page?

Why can I not login?

How do I obtain security access or request security access changes to eProcurement?

What should I do if I have a problem with or question about a supplier?

As a Departmental Approver, will I receive an email notification when I have a requisition pending my approval?

Are copies of purchase orders and invoices accessible through the system?

Is there a description for center number?

Is there electronic reconciliation to eDog?

Are Excel downloads of data from eProcurement available for reconciliation to eDog?

Is there demand reporting on encumbrances?

How do I obtain eProcurement training?

What purchases\suppliers are excluded from eProcurement?

How will I know when enhancements have been made to the application?

What if I have an idea that may improve eProcurement?

I'm a Mac User, am I compatible with eProcurement?

How does the automatic timeout function?

Will historical data be available?

Who do I contact for system support?

Does eProcurement interface with other systems?

Why am I unable to view the online training lessons?

Which requisition type should I choose?

What information is required for all requisitions?

What information do I need to submit a blanket requisition?

What information and documentation do I need to submit a service/maintenance requisition?

What information do I need to submit a capital requisition?

What information do I need to submit a zero cost capital requisition (evaluation order)?

What information and documentation do I need to submit a professional services requisition?

What information do I need to be able to submit a subcontract requisition?

How do I make changes to POs created using eProcurement?

How do I return items for POs created using eProcurement?

How does the copy button work? Can I copy a requisition even if I didn't create it?

I got an error message saying I had to enter an item number, but there isn't one. What should I enter?

What is a Ship-To ID?

Do I have the flexibility to enter multiple Ship-to IDs in the system?

When I place a rush order for next day delivery, will the system tell me the availability of the product?

Are there any furniture order restrictions?

What should I do if I cannot find the product I want to order in eProcurement?

What should I do if I cannot find a specific supplier in eProcurement?

How do I enter a requisition if the supplier is not available in eProcurement?

Do I need to enter a center number?

Is there a search for accounts?

How does the system handle an invalid or closed center?

Can I split the center distribution for a single line item across multiple centers?

How does the Creator know why a requisition was rejected back to him/her?

What can the Departmental Reviewer do in eProcurement?

Can you have multiple Departmental Approvers assigned for back up purposes?

Does each Departmental Approver receive a copy of the requisition in his/her worklist once the Creator submits it?

Can the Departmental Approver change the center number?

How can the Departmental Approver approve only part of the items on the requisition?

Is it possible to stop an order that I have mistakenly approved?

 


What is eProcurement?

eProcurement is a fully capable electronic web application for purchasing goods and services. eProcurement allows shoppers to browse online catalogs, add items to a shopping cart and submit the requisition electronically. Orders may also be created manually for complex purchases of capital equipment and professional services. Completed requisitions are routed for review or approval via electronic workflow. Requisitions to select suppliers included in the hosted "eCatalog" will automatically generate purchase orders and transmits them to the suppliers. All other approved eProcurement requisitions are routed to purchasing agents for Procurement review and processing into purchase orders. The expanded capabilities of eProcurement will eventually replace paper requisition forms in the near future.

How do I get to the login page?

· Click on the eProcurement screen icon which is labeled "Link to the Application".

Why can I not login?

In order to login you need a valid VUnet ID and e-password. To obtain a VUnet ID and e-password, contact your department's technical support person. Click here to learn more about the VUnet ID requirement and to learn more about the e-password requirement on the Information Technology Services (ITS) website.

If you have a valid VUnet ID and e-password and are still unable to login, this is because you have not been assigned a privilege in the system. In order to login, you must have one or more of the following privileges: eProcurement Creator, eProcurement Departmental Reviewer, eProcurement Departmental Approver, eProcurement Viewer, and eDog Viewer. To obtain one or more of these roles, click here

How do I obtain security access or request security access changes to eProcurement?

Click here for descriptions of each eProcurement privilege and for instructions on how to obtain one.

What should I do if I have a problem with or question about a supplier?

Contact the Purchasing Agent for that supplier's commodity. Click here for a listing of Purchasing Agents, the commodities for which they are responsible, and their contact information.

As a Departmental Approver, will I receive an email notification when I have a requisition pending my approval?

Notification functionality is not currently available with eProcurement, but will be rolled out later in FY14.

Are copies of purchase orders and invoices accessible through the system?

Yes. Purchase order and departmental invoice report (DIR) copies are accessible through the system for all of your eProcurement-generated requisitions. To access copies of these documents, use the search feature on the left side of the worklist screen. Search for the completed requisition for which you want to view copies of the purchase order(s) and DIR(s). There are a variety of fields you can search on to locate the requisition, including creator, center, supplier, requisition ID, commodity, account, amount, status, submit date, PO type, item number and/or item description. Once you have specified your search criteria, click the Search button.

To open and view a requisition, click on the requisition ID, which is displayed as a hyperlink. When you open the requisition, you will see information displayed about the purchase order (including the purchase order number and purchase order date). You will also see information displayed about the invoice (including the invoice ID, invoice date, and voucher ID). Note that the purchase order number and the voucher ID are displayed as hyperlinks. To view a copy of the purchase order, click on the purchase order number. To view a copy of the DIR, click on the voucher ID. The purchase order and DIR are displayed as .pdf files. You will need Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer to view the file

Is there a description for center number?

Each center number in the general ledger has a description. However, when creating a requisition, there is not a field for you to search by the center description - just the center number. If you start entering a center number, you will see a list of centers with descriptions after you enter six digits, but the center description does not display after you have selected the center number.

Is there electronic reconciliation to eDog?

No, this feature is not currently available with eProcurement.

Are Excel downloads of data from eProcurement available for reconciliation to eDog?

No, this feature is not currently available with eProcurement. Please see the APPO reports in BI4 Launchpad for this information by clicking here

Is there demand reporting on encumbrances?

No, this feature is not currently available with eProcurement. Please see the APPO reports in BI4 Launchpad for this information by clicking here.

How do I obtain eProcurement training?

The following eProcurement training opportunities and resources are currently available:

· Online, role-based training modules (self-paced); to access the online training menu, click here, search for eProcurement, and click on Catalog.

· Instructor-led, auditorium style training (length: 90 minutes); to view the class schedule and register for a class, click here, search for eProcurement, and click on Catalog.

What purchases\suppliers are excluded from eProcurement?

At this time the following commodities and suppliers are excluded:

o Retail suppliers (e.g. - Kroger, Target, Sam's Club, pizzerias, restaurants)

o Animal purchases

o Hazardous chemicals

o Hotels, airlines and other travel service providers

How will I know when enhancements have been made to the application?

Updates on system enhancements and the addition of new suppliers can be found at the eProcurement website, which you can access by clicking here. You may also receive e-mail messages announcing the changes.

What if I have an idea that may improve eProcurement?

If you have a suggestion regarding eProcurement, please e-mail us at eprocurement_questions@list.vanderbilt.edu.

I'm a Mac User, am I compatible with eProcurement?

Yes. However, some advanced features of eProcurement may not be available. Please contact the Help Desk at 3-4357 if you encounter any problems.

How does the automatic ti meout function?

After 75 minutes of inactivity you will be automatically timed out. If you are working within one of the tabs of the application and 75 minutes of inactivity has occurred, you will lose any changes you made since the last time you clicked Save or Continue. If you are working within one of the catalogs, have placed items in your shopping cart, and then are inactive for 75 minutes or more, all of the items in your shopping cart will be lost. Tip: When you are interrupted and anticipate that you will not reengage the system for 75 minutes or more, click the Check Out button. All of your items in your shopping cart will be saved and added to an eProcurement requisition. If there were additional items you needed from the catalog, you could always add them to the requisition at a later time.

Will historical data be available?

Yes, historical requisitions (i.e. - those in a status of "Completed") are accessible using the Search feature in eProcurement, in addition to the purchase order(s) and the departmental invoice report(s) associated with each requisition. No decision has been made regarding how long this information will be stored in the eProcurement system. However, please be assured that it will be retained in accordance with record retention guidelines.

Who do I contact for system support?

For urgent matters, contact the VU IT Help Desk by calling 3-4357. For all other questions or concerns, contact the VU IT Help Desk by completing the web form accessible at the following URL: Help Desk

Does eProcurement interface with other systems?

The eProcurement system interfaces with the PeopleSoft Purchasing / Accounts Payable (APPO) system. Once a requisition receives appropriate approval, the requisition will be loaded into the PeopleSoft APPO system. No other interfaces are available; however the PeopleSoft APPO system loads the requisitions nightly into the General Ledger system.

Why am I unable to view the online training lessons?

Self-paced online training modules specifically targeted to eProcurement creators, reviewers and approvers are available on line at the Learning Exchange website. Administrators who would like to learn more about the new system also will benefit from the online training modules. To find the modules, visit The Learning Exchange and search "eProcurement."

Which requisition type should I choose?

For purchasing

Use Requisition Type

One-time purchase of goods

General

One-time purchase of trade services, including equipment repairs

General

Recurring purchases of goods or trade services with a duration of one year or longer (limited use)

Blanket

Capital equipment purchases

Capital Equipment

Leases of equipment, vehicles, and real estate

Lease

Professional services, including consultants

Professional Services

Equipment and software service agreements

Service/Maintenance

Federal sub-contracted purchase orders

Subcontract

 

What information is required for all requisitions?

For all requisitions, you are required to enter:

· Ship to information

o Ship to building ID

o Attention

o Department

o Room Number

· Contact Information

o Name

o Phone

o Email address

  • Supplier

· Item Information

o Quantity

o Unit of Measure

o Item Number

o Item Description

o Commodity

o Unit Price

· Distribution Information

o Account

o Center

o Distribution Percentage

What information do I need to submit a blanket requisition?

Blanket requisitions can be used for recurring purchases of goods and services, but should not be used for suppliers that are available as "punch outs" in eProcurement ("punch outs" are online custom supplier catalogs). Most blanket purchase orders are authorized for one year.

In addition, to create a blanket requisition, the following fields are required:

· Start Date - required

· End Date - required

The following fields are recommended if applicable:

· Prior PO number

· Agreement Number

· Supplier Account

What information and documentation do I need to submit a service/maintenance requisition?

Service/Maintenance requisitions are used for equipment or software maintenance agreements. For service/maintenance requisitions, you are required to enter:

· Start Date

· End Date

It is also recommended that you enter the following information (if applicable):

· Current/Expiring PO number

· Agreement Number

  • Manufacturer
  • Model/Product

· Serial Number

· Supplier ID (such as account number or supplier's inventory ID)

What information do I need to submit a capital requisition?

Capital requisitions should be used for the purchase of capital equipment. For capital requisitions, you are required to enter:

· Ship to information

o Ship to building ID

o Attention

o Department

o Room Number

· Contact Information

o Name

o Phone

o Email address

  • Supplier

· Item Information

o Quantity

o Unit of Measure

o Item Number

o Item Description

o Commodity

o Unit Price

· Distribution Information

o Account

o Center

o Distribution Percentage

In addition, you may also enter a capital or project ID, if applicable.

What information do I need to submit a zero cost capital requisition (evaluation order)?

Zero cost capital requisitions are used to record information on equipment during evaluation periods. For zero cost capital requisitions, in addition to the fields required for all requisitions, you are required to enter:

· Zero cost liability (will the supplier retain the full liability for the equipment during the evaluation period, including transportation?)

· Quote information (must be attached)

· Equipment value

· Start Date of evaluation period

· End Date of evaluation period

In addition, you may also enter a capital or project ID, if applicable. 

What information and documentation do I need to submit a professional services requisition?

Professional services requisitions are used to purchase professional services, such as consulting. To determine if a service is classified as a professional or a trade service, click here. For professional services requisitions, enter line 1 using 1 as the quantity and Job as the Unit of Measure. Enter line 2 to cover expenses, using 1 as the quantity and Lot as the unit of measure. If there will be no expenses, enter $0 in the Unit Price field.

Additional information needed for a professional services requisition includes:

· Location of Services - US, Outside US, or Both Inside and Outside US

· Type of Service Provider - Individual/Sole Proprietor or Multi-Person Organization

· Is the supplier a contracted supplier? - Yes or No

· Is HIPAA applicable? - Yes or No

· Is FERPA applicable? - Yes or No

Please see the chart below to determine which attachments are needed:

Information/Documentation

When It's Used

General Procurement Contract or Lease Approval Routing Form

Recommended (but not required) for all professional services purchases.

VU Professional Services Agreement (VU PSA) or

Supplier's Contract

The VU PSA is recommended for all professional services purchases, but is required for purchases equal to or exceeding $5000.

Either the VU PSA or the supplier's contract is always required for a non-contract supplier purchase.

Schedule "A" or

Statement of Work (SOW)

Either a Schedule "A" or a SOW is always required for professional services purchases.

Conflict of Interest Statement

Required whenever the VU PSA is not used.

Location of Services Statement

Required whenever the services are being performed (either partially or entirely) outside the United States

20-Factor Checklist

Required whenever the supplier is an individual and/or sole proprietor.

Business Associate's Agreement (BAA)

Required whenever Protected Health Information will be shared with the supplier.

 

What information do I need to be able to submit a subcontract requisition?

Subcontract requisitions are generally created only by central offices. The subcontract end date is required. You should also enter:

· Sub Contract Number

· Email address

· Principal Investigator 

How do I make changes to POs created using eProcurement?

It depends on the status of the requisition. If you requisition is in the status below:

· Pending Departmental Approval - the Creator can recall the requisition, make changes, and then resubmit the requisition.

· Pending Capital Approver - Contact the Capital Approver, and ask him/her to reject the requisition back to the Creator.

· Pending Central Approver - Contact the Central Approver, and ask him/her to reject the requisition back to the Creator.

· Buyer Review, Pending Reviewer, or Pending Approver - Contact the purchasing agent listed on the requisition and ask that the requisition be rejected back to the Creator.

· Completed - Contact the purchasing agent listed on the requisition to request that changes. You may also need to contact the Supplier in some cases.

How do I return items for POs created using eProcurement?

You can return items ordering using eProcurement the same way you return items ordered through any other method.

· Contact the supplier to get a return authorization number.

· Ship the goods back to the supplier.

· If the goods will not be replaced, contact the Buyer to cancel the item(s) on the PO.

How does the copy button work? Can I copy a requisition even if I didn't create it?

If you can search for and view a requisition, and you are an eProcurement Creator, you can copy the requisition. To do so, open the requisition, scroll to the bottom, and click the Copy button. You can then make changes to the requisition as needed.

I got an error message saying I had to enter an item number, but there isn't one. What should I enter?

If there is no item number, you can enter None in the item number field.

What is a Ship-To ID?

The Ship-to ID is a required field that identifies the building to which you want your order to be shipped. This is a different value than the Department Routing Code, which eProcurement does not utilize. If you do not know what to enter for Ship-to ID, you can access a searchable list of Ship-to IDs during the requisition creation process. To do so, enter the partial building name in the Ship-to Search field, and select the appropriate building.

Do I have the flexibilit y to enter multiple Ship-to IDs in the system?

You have the flexibility to enter different Ship-to IDs on a requisition-by-requisition basis. However, you cannot enter more than one Ship-to ID on a single requisition.

When I place a rush order for next day delivery, will the system tell me the availability of the product?

If the product is a noncatalog item or an item from the eCatalog, the system does not provide information regarding availability. To acquire information regarding the availability of a noncatalog item or an item from the eCatalog, you would have to contact the supplier with whom you are placing the order.

If the product is an item from one of the suppliers whose website you accessed from eProcurement, product availability information is available on the supplier's website.

Are there any furniture order restrictions?

The eCatalog contains selected seating, filing and storage products from our three contract furniture dealers (IDS, NOI and Alfred Williams). We strongly recommend that orders for more complex furniture systems be reviewed with a Procurement Furniture Agent before placing any eProcurement orders. Furniture sold by suppliers that do not meet our requirements will not be available through eProcurement. 

What should I do if I cannot find the product I want to order in eProcurement?

If the product you want to order is not included in the eCatalog or from any punch out supplier, you can submit a non-catalog requisition by manually completing the requisition form for each product or service you wish to buy. You will need to provide a product description, unit price and select an appropriate commodity code selection from the drop down menu. It is highly recommended that supporting supplier quotations or documentation be attached to your requisition to insure order accuracy.

What should I do if I cannot find a specific supplier in eProcurement?

First, ensure that you have effectively searched for the supplier in eProcurement. The improved eProcurement now contains over 12,000 currently active suppliers so it is likely your supplier is available. Searches now return the full supplier name and address which makes selecting the correct company much easier.

Also, please be aware of the following standards used to set up supplier records in eProcurement:

a. A space is used after initials instead of no space or a period (V W R instead of VWR or V.W.R.).

b. Business and organization names are spelled out instead of using initials to avoid confusion between organizations or businesses with the same initials (Computer Discount Warehouse instead of CDW).

How do I enter a requisition if the supplier is not available in eProcurement?

If you cannot find your supplier or know that you need to place an order with a new company, the improved eProcurement system will allow you to create a manually entered order by selecting "New Supplier" from the Supplier Search field. A message will prompt you to provide basic address and contact information on the new supplier in the Comment for Supplier field. The requisition is completed normally and submitted for approval. Orders with new suppliers will automatically be routed to a specific buyer for review based on the commodity code selected. These orders may take up to an additional 5 working days to process due to the time required to request W-9 forms from the supplier and set up the supplier profile in the purchasing system.

Alternately, you may complete the Supplier Addition Request Form which is accessible by clicking here. Your request will be evaluated by either Medical Supply Sourcing or Central Procurement depending upon the specific commodities involved. You'll receive a response within 5 business days.

Do I ne ed to enter a center number?

Yes, the Creator needs to enter a ten-digit cost center number on each requisition he/she submits in eProcurement. 

Is there a search for accounts?

Yes. If you don't know which account to use, click into the Account field and enter part of the account name. Select the appropriate account from the list.

If you need additional information about an account, there is another resource you can consult: the Narrative Chart of Accounts (NCOA). You can link to the NCOA from the eBusiness page at https://finance.vanderbilt.edu/ebiz/. The NCOA will enable you look up account numbers to view a detailed definition and usage rule for each one. Please be aware, however, that the NCOA contains all accounts that exist in the general ledger system, not just the ones that have been designated for use in eProcurement.

How does the system ha ndle an invalid or closed center?

If a Creator attempts to enter an invalid or closed center on a requisition, he/she will receive an error message upon clicking Continue. If you receive an error message stating that the center you entered is invalid or closed, please check for typographical errors or use a different center number. If you do not know the correct center number or which center number to use in substitution for the closed one, contact the administrative area of your department.

Can I split the center distr ibution for a single line item across multiple centers?

Yes, you can distribute a line item across multiple accounts and/or centers. You can add distribution lines by clicking the plus sign associated with the line item.

If you split the distribution across multiple centers, one or more Departmental Approver(s) for each center number will be assigned as an approver on the requisition. Before eProcurement transmits the order to the supplier, one Departmental Approver for each center must approve the requisition.

How does the Creato r know why a requisition was rejected back to him/her?

When the Creator opens the "Rejected" requisition from the worklist, he/she will be able to view the date/time the Departmental Approver rejected it, as well as any comments the Departmental Approver entered in the Comments field. 

What can the Departmental Reviewer do in eProcurement?

The Reviewer has the capability to enter comments, agree with the requisition by clicking the Agree button, or disagree with the requisition by clicking the Disagree button. The Reviewer offers an intermediary approval. His or her "vote" will be recorded in the eProcurement system for other approvers to see, but will never directly result in the transmission of the order to the supplier.

Can you have multiple Departmental Approvers assigned for back up purposes?

Yes, it is possible to have multiple Departmental Approvers assigned to a center number for backup purposes. However, if one of the Departmental Approvers has approval authority on that center by virtue of a "high-level" center assignment (i.e. - on a sumto center), the requisition may not appear in his/her worklist. Once eProcurement finds a Departmental Approver with the appropriate dollar authority for the center entered on the requisition, eProcurement does not continue searching up the hierarchy of center numbers for additional approvers. If the assigned approver is out of the office and the "high-level" Departmental Approver needs to approve the requisition, he/she could locate it using the Search functionality and then approve it.

Does each Departmental Approver receive a copy of the requisition in his/her worklist once the Creator submits it?

Yes and no.

When a requisition is submitted, based on the center number(s) the Creator entered, eProcurement finds a Departmental Approver with approval authority for the total dollar amount charged to the center. If there is more than one Departmental Approver assigned approval authority at the same center level for the same dollar amount, both Departmental Approvers will be assigned as approvers on the requisition and it will appear in both their worklists. However, only one Departmental Approver approval is required.

It is possible for a "high-level" Departmental Approver to have approval authority on a requisition, but not be directly assigned as an approver on that requisition. As such, the requisition does not appear in his/her worklist. Once eProcurement finds a Departmental Approver with appropriate dollar authority for the center entered on the requisition, eProcurement does not continue searching up the hierarchy of center numbers for additional approvers. If the assigned approver is out of the office and the "high-level" Departmental Approver needs to approve the requisition, he/she could locate it using the Search functionality, and then approve it.

Can the Departmental Approver change the center number?

No, a Departmental Approver cannot make any changes to a submitted requisition that has been routed to his/her worklist. If the Departmental Approver identifies something that needs to be changed, he/she must reject the requisition back to the Creator and request that he/she edit the requisition. To do so, the Departmental Approver should detail the requested changes in the Comments field and then click the Reject button. The requisition will disappear from the Departmental Approver's worklist and appear in the Creator's worklist with a status of "Rejected." The Creator will be notified via e-mail that the requisition has been rejected.

How can the Departmental Approver approve only part of the items on the requisition?

It is not possible for the Departmental Approver to approve a subset of an order. When a Departmental Approver approves a requisition, he/she approves the order in its entirety. The Departmental Approver would have to reject the requisition back to the Creator and request that he/she remove the inappropriate items, then the Creator could resubmit the requisition for approval. To reject a requisition, the Departmental Approver should detail the requested changes in the Comments field and then click the Reject button. The requisition will disappear from the Departmental Approver's worklist and appear in the Creator's worklist with a status of "Rejected." The Creator will be notified via e-mail that the requisition has been rejected.

Is it possible to stop an order that I have mistakenly approved?

If it was a catalog order or a noncatalog order totaling less than $1,000, you will have to contact the supplier to terminate the order because a purchase order is generated and automatically transmitted to the supplier within 5 to 10 minutes after approval for these types of orders. Additionally, you will need to send an e-mail to the appropriate purchasing agent in Procurement Services advising that you have cancelled the order with the supplier and requesting that the order be cancelled within the purchasing system (PeopleSoft APPO). To determine who the "appropriate" purchasing agent is, click here to access a list of all purchasing agents, the commodity types for which they are responsible, and their contact information.

If it was a noncatalog order totaling greater than $1,000, the review and approval of a purchasing agent (a.k.a. "buyer") in Procurement Services is required. If the requisition is still in the worklist of a purchasing agent, you will be able to stop the requisition by contacting the purchasing agent who has been assigned to the requisition based on the commodity code the Creator selected. To determine whether the requisition is still in the worklist of a purchasing agent, use the eProcurement search functionality to find the requisition in question. (Remember, it will have disappeared from your Departmental Approver worklist since you approved it.) Determine the current status of the requisition.

· If it's in a status of "Buyer Review," contact the purchasing agent whose name is displayed on the requisition and ask him/her to reject it back to the Creator.

· If the requisition has already been approved by a purchasing agent, you will have to contact the supplier to terminate the order. If you need assistance with contacting the supplier, you can contact the appropriate purchasing agent in Procurement Services. Additionally, you will need to send an e-mail to the appropriate purchasing agent in Procurement Services advising that you have cancelled the order with the supplier and requesting that the order be cancelled within the purchasing system (PeopleSoft APPO).